Ex-AFN Secretary-General, Akawu arrested over alleged $130,000 fraud
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arrested the former Secretary-General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr Amaechi Akawu.
Spokesperson for the commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Monday.
Akawu was arrested over allegations of misappropriation of $130, 000 belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
“Akawu was detained on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 following his arrest and was subsequently released on administrative bail the next day, to enable him submit some vital documents that were requested by investigators handling the case.
“ICPC had received a petition alleging that he had failed to account for $130,000 mistakenly paid into the account of AFN in 2017 by IAAF,” the statement said.
According to Okoduwa, IAAF had in a letter to AFN in March 2017 volunteered to grant $20,000 to the Federation towards the successful hosting of the CAA Grand Prix Competition in Delta State, popularly known as 2017 Warri Relay Competition.
The international body for athletics, however, while fulfilling the pledge mistakenly paid $150,000 to AFN in May 2017, a sum which was in excess of the $20, 000 grants it had earlier pledged.
IAAF was said to have written to the Nigerian body two months after the payment admitting the mistake and promptly requested that the $130, 000 excess be returned forthwith.
ICPC noted that AFN has yet to refund the excess fund with Akawu as the secretary-general, claiming that the entire $130, 000 was spent on hosting the competition that held in July 2017.
“Details available to the commission have revealed several transactions on the account which were originated by the (former) secretary-general moments after the payment of the money.
“ICPC found out that Akawu, acting without AFN Board, got several approvals for the release of the money through a series of letters to the then Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung,” the statement added.
The anti-graft agency disclosed that Akawu requested and got approval for the release of N30.4 million, N4.9 million and $20, 000 on different occasions but all in July 2017 as expenses for the competition.
It also accused the former secretary-general of requesting N9.5 million in the same period, but N5 million was approved by the then permanent secretary at the ministry.
The commission said Akawu has yet to furnish it with the evidence of the expenditures.
He was said to have informed investigators that he had submitted all the documents relating to how the $130, 000 was spent by AFN to the registry in the office of the minister.